The Heat are streaking out of control but the questions must be asked. How long will it last, are Miami peaking early and is it more impressive than a ring?[caption id="attachment_15135" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Photo Credit: Debby Wong, USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
25It's not my lucky Powerball number or the amount of hours I've spent watching the Boston Celtics this year, it's the Miami Heat and their unbelievable winning streak! After polishing off the Detroit Pistons last night for win number 25, Miami can become one step closer to the NBA record of 33, held by the 71'-72' L.A Lakers with a win against the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday. The game on Sunday against the struggling Bobcats (12-52) is marked by many as a victory for the Heat, with most people now asking when the will streak end? The Heat currently hold the 2nd longest winning streak in NBA history at 25 wins. The last time the Heat lost a game was Feb 1, at the hands of the Indiana Pacers losing 102-89. The next 3 games for the Heat are against lottery bound teams that include the Bobcats, Hornets & Magic. If there is any chance of the streak ending before April the first challenge will be against the Magic on Monday. Miami have played Orlando twice this year, only winning by a total margin of 3 points. The first victory came in Orlando by 2 points then the Heat won in the clutch at home by 1. Only one other challenge or slight bump in the road would be the Chicago Bulls (March 27) in Chicago. That's before flying out to meet the New Orleans Hornets for most likely an easy win. The markets are predicting the Heat to win those games up until their showdown with the Western Conference leading San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio on March 31st. If the Heat can somehow come through and win those games they will be at 30 straight wins. Then another blockbuster looms 2 nights later as they play the New York Knicks at home on April 2nd.
PEAKING TO EARLY?With 14 games to go in the regular season for Miami there is still a lot of basketball to be played, the Heat look unstoppable right now but you can't win forever. Personally I think the heat are peaking to early. You can't complain about winning 25+ straight, but there are more than 10 games remaining in the regular season. Miami are one of the strongest and deepest teams in the past decade from memory, but you have to lose eventually and when you do there is a tendency to go into a little bit of a slump. Whether that be a 1,2,3 or 4 game losing streak, when it's playoff time even a 2 game deficit can really put your team on the back burner.
"I think the number-one thing for us is we're getting better," LeBron James said. "We're making a push at the right time of the year, and we've been able to win games in all different shapes and sizes, on the road, at home, slow-paced games, fast-paced games. And we've been able to continue to roll, and continue to build our habits, and that's the number-one thing."James talks about the important attributes of this winning streak and not the number in front of it. The Heat have shown that they can come back from just about any situation but the playoffs are a completely different level of basketball.
34 WINS OR 1 RING?ESPN analyst and ex-NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy had an interesting approach on Miami's record breaking achievement during the week that escalated a lot of debate.
"Winning 33 in a row is much harder than winning an NBA championship" Said Van GundyAfter a wide backlash from fans, close friends, NBA players and the media about his comments, Jeff Van Gundy held another meeting a few days ago to clear his thoughts on the opinion;
"The 33 win record I thought was un-beatable, and its still a long way to go for Miami but what an achievement it would be. When you think of streaks you don't even get the Chicago Bulls in the conversation, Michael Jordan's 72 game winning team didn't even reach 20 wins in a row, this is rare and I think this shouldn't be downplayed. It's a great story and surprised that most people don't think that this is a bigger challenge than winning a championship".I can see where the public or players would think NBA championship would be regarded a harder achievement because that's what your NBA career is judged on, by how many rings you have. A championship season is about 100 games of pure commitment & hard work but considering the streak of 33 hasn't been beaten in the last 40 years that would be one huge achievement.
WILL ANYONE BEAT THE HEAT?LeBron is shooting the best he's ever shot in his career over the past 2 months at 64.9% & Miami is playing with a purpose. It seems they can't be stopped and have a solid chance of beating the winning streak record to be considered as one of the greatest teams to ever play the game. Surprisingly most of their close games have come to below .500 opponents, that said, I suspect them to either fall to the Magic next week or to the Spurs on the 31st of March.
MIAMI'S WINNING MARGINS TO 25:Toronto Raptors: +15 Charlotte Bobcats: +5 Houston Rockets: +6 Los Angeles Clippers: +22 Los Angeles Lakers: +10 Portland Trail Blazers: +13 Oklahoma City Thunder: +10 Atlanta Hawks: +13 Chicago Bulls: +19 Philadelphia 76ers: +24 Cleveland Cavaliers: +4 Sacramento Kings: +12 Memphis Grizzlies: +7 New York Knicks: +6 Minnesota Timberwolves: +16 Orlando Magic: +1 Philadelphia 76ers: +9 Cleveland Cavaliers: +3 Detroit Pistons: +14
Who do you think will stop the Heat? Is winning 33 games more of an achievement than winning a championship? Post a comment in the section below.